Motion to Strike Prior Conviction In California
The standards for evaluating the trial court's determination of a motion to strike a prior conviction in furtherance of justice under section 1385 (see People v. Superior Court (Romero) (1996) 13 Cal.4th 497) are by now well known.
The trial court must take into consideration the defendant's background, the nature of his current offense, and other "'individualized considerations.'" ( Id. at p. 531.)
strike prior convictions in california
In People v. Williams (1998) 17 Cal.4th 148, the Supreme Court stated that in People v. Superior Court (Romero) (1996), it had implied that "preponderant weight must be accorded to factors intrinsic to the three strikes scheme, such as the nature and circumstances of the defendant's present felonies and prior serious and/or violent felony convictions, and the particulars of his background, character, and prospects." (People v. Williams, at p. 161.)
In deciding whether to strike a prior conviction, and in reviewing a trial court's ruling, "the court in question must consider whether, in light of the nature and circumstances of his present felonies and prior serious and/or violent felony convictions, and the particulars of his background, character, and prospects, the defendant may be deemed outside the scheme's spirit, in whole or in part, and hence should be treated as though he had not previously been convicted of one or more serious and/or violent felonies." (Ibid.)
"'The burden is on the party attacking the sentence to clearly show that the sentencing decision was irrational or arbitrary. . . . In the absence of such a showing, the trial court is presumed to have acted to achieve legitimate sentencing objectives, and its discretionary determination to impose a particular sentence will not be set aside on review.'" ( People v. Superior Court (Alvarez) (1997) 14 Cal.4th 968, 977-978.)